WestJet’s Christmas Miracle – Statistics from Social Media

Compiled below are the statistics compiled by Simplifying (2013) about the attention that WestJet’s Christmas Miracle video has captured on various social media platforms up to 13 Dec 2013.

Before the video went live, people ouside of Canada and the US might be forgiven for not knowing  who WestJet was. Over 14 million views later (and after being featured on sites like Mashable, Huffington Post, The Daily Mail, and LA Times) most people will now think of WestJet first when they consider flying in Canada. In fact, the article on Mashable has been shared over 1m times (which is apparently a first for Mashable) and has added further fuel to WestJet’s PR campaign for the video.

The growth of the video has been nothing short of spectacular, doubling every day for the last three days as this chart shows.

westjet christmas miracle

WestJet is no stranger to doing creative videos; a quick scan through its other popular videos shows flash mobs and an April Fools video announcing the launch of child-free cabins. However, despite doing well, none of these videos has seen the runaway success of the Christmas Miracle video. In fact, the video accounts for over 70% of the total views on the channel, which is incredible considering it’s just 3 days old.

The growth in subscribers has been astonishing as well. Before the video was uploaded, WestJet had a respectable 3,700 subscribers as of December 9th. Now, the channel has over 12,000 subscribers, a growth of 320% in just 3 days.


Over on Facebook, WestJet is no stranger to posting compelling content that engages its fans. In fact, in comparison with some of the beloved airlines in North America, WestJet’s Facebook page has yieled up to six times the engagement of other airlines.


The average engagement score that WestJet received in the last 30 days is 120.  This was calculated by the number of Likes, Comments, Shares and Estimated Impressions each of its posts got. The post about the Christmas Miracle video saw an engagement score of over 1,700, 14 times more engaging than the average WestJet post and a staggering 35 times more engaging than the sector average engagement score of 50.

Before the video, WestJet was getting an average of 15 fan posts a day. After the video, well, just take a look at the chart below, which shows how many fan posts WestJet has received in comparison to other airlines in the past week.


Over on Twitter, we were surprised that the most engaging tweet from WestJet wasn’t the original announcement of the video, but one of the follow up tweets which mentioned the number of views. This shows both the power of tweeting multiple times and the power of social validation (and FOMO) by including some numbers in the tweet. The original tweet had an engagement score of 808 (out of a possible 1,000), which was calculated by taking the number of retweets, favorites, replies and follower numbers. The follow up tweets scored 966, thanks to double the number of retweets.

Just like on Facebook, WestJet’s Twitter account is no stranger to highly engaging tweets that are retweeted and replied to. The chart below shows how much more traction WestJet has made compared to other popular airlines (including a certain very large Canadian airline) over the last month when it comes to follower interactions on its tweets.


Quite clearly, WestJet’s social media pros are experts in creating highly engaging content and integrated marketing campaigns. However, the success of the Westjet Christmas Miracle video must have far exceeded even their own expectations, as evident in their recent “yay, go us!” blog article which talks about how their video went viral and well worth a read.

While it might seem absurd for an airline (which  as a sector, isn’t posting stellar profits at the moment) to be giving away so much, including a nifty 50 inch TV, the WestJet team really knocked it out of the park on this one.

Statistics credit to Bysanic, V. 2013. [Statistics] How the WestJet Christmas Miracle Video Warmed Hearts and Won the Internet. Simplifying. Available at: [Accessed: 19 Feb 2014]

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Posted by on February 22, 2014 in WestJet Case


WestJet’s Christmas Miracle – An introduction

The clever Christmas surprise engineered by a Calgary-based airline soared onto social media and into the hearts of many Monday.

WestJet posted its “Christmas Miracle” video on YouTube overnight on Sunday, 9 December 2013, and had more than 315,000 views in the first 24 hours.

Plans for the video began in August when WestJet team sat down with studio m and started brainstorming what ‘giving’ looked like at its best. The airline wanted to do something big, exciting and fresh. Fast forward three months and, with the help of 175 WestJet volunteers, three airports, 19 hidden cameras, and Santa himself, the company made a Christmas miracle happen for more than 250 guests on two Calgary-bound flights, one from Hamilton, the other, Toronto — on Nov. 21.

Guests were greeted by Santa on a screen at the airports — Old St. Nick even addressed them by name. He asked passengers what they’d like for Christmas. While they rattled off their wish lists, volunteers took notes.

“We were accumulating our list and checking it twice,” “We didn’t do the naughty or nice thing — that was too much work.”

– Robert Palmer, manager of public relations –

As the flights took off, WestJet volunteers in Calgary worked with partners CrossIron Mills and Best Buy to gather gifts.

When passengers arrived at YYC, they gathered at the baggage claim waiting for their luggage, but instead …

When they get to baggage claim, tired travelers see their luggage — and big blue boxes with their names on the front and their dream Christmas gifts inside. The 357 gifts ranged from socks and underwear to a snowboard and an Android tablet to a big screen TV. Faux snow falls, tears are shed, and a giant gingerbread man waddles around the luggage belt eating cookies. The whole situation is precious and magical.

The airline promised when the video views hit 200,000, it would donate flights to reunite a family over Christmas through Ronald McDonald House. Well, that promise sure has to be kept as the video has had more than 315,000 views within 24 hours and broke 19,000,000 views in four days.

What’s so miracle about WestJet’s Christmas campaign that garnered such explosive reactions from the public? Well, we all have to see it to believe it. Make sure to have some tissues ready cause I cried a few times watching the miracle unfolded.

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Posted by on February 22, 2014 in WestJet Case